The History of the Music Hall and Vaudeville: from W.C. Fields to Fanny Brice

Beginning in England in the mid-19th-century, the Music Hall emerged as a new kind of affordable entertainment venue whose variety show format forever changed the world of theater and music, paving the way to mass entertainment long before moving pictures absorbed its style and created the Hollywood musical. Adored by the public, the Music Hall hosted ever more grandiose spectacles that are now legendary for their scale and opulence. The glamorous “revue” became the signature of the Music Hall and a vehicle for the first modern superstars like Anna Pavlova, Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier, and Fanny Brice. We will visit the rich history of the Gaiety in London, the Folies Bergère in Paris, the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin, New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and many more. Take a seat and enjoy the show!

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with famous Music Halls in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, and other cities
  • An understanding of the Music Hall’s influence on mass entertainment
  • Knowledge about famous performers such as Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier

Ideal for

  • Theater, art, and music enthusiasts
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.